Manchester United have gone joint top of the Premier League after goals from Anthony Martial and Bruno Fernandes saw them beat Aston Villa 2-1.
United, who are now unbeaten in ten matches, carved out the better opportunities in the first half with Paul Pogba and Fred spurning good chances.
Dean Smith's side grew into the game, with John McGinn forcing David De Gea into a decent save, but found themselves behind close to half-time when Martial headed in Aaron Wan Bissaka's cross for his fifth of the season.
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Anthony Martial of Manchester United celebrates with teammates after scoring their team's first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford on January 01, 2021 in Manchester, England

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Villa had the better of an enthralling second half with De Gea forced into a brilliant save to tip Olly Watkins' header over the bar while Hamed El Ghazi's volley was narrowly over.
And their effort was rewarded when McGinn's quickly taken free-kick caught United out and Grealish's low cross found Bertrand Traore in space who tucked the ball into the net.
But United were back in front just three minutes later when Douglas Luiz conceded a soft penalty after tangling with Pogba and Fernandes stepped up to fire in the spot-kick.
And the home side survived a late Villa onslaught as Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer's side kick off 2021 in perfect fashion to go joint top with Liverpool.

TALKING POINT

Do United rely too much on Fernandes? He has scored 19 goals in 30 appearances and has been directly involved in seven goals in his last four league games. The Portugese playmaker was once again at the centre of United's attacks with his work rate and vision. Pogba will need to step up, if he stays at the club beyond the January window, if Fernandes has a dip in form or is unavailable while Donny Van De Beek, who was an unused sub again, is another option for Ole.

Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United scores their team's second goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford on January 01, 2021 in Manchester, England.

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MAN OF THE MATCH

David De Gea (Man United): The Spaniard has been back to his best in the past two games. He made some vital saves in the 1-0 win against Wolves and again today, the pick of them was keeping out Olly Watkins' header and Keinan Davis' strike in stoppage time.

David De Gea of Manchester United celebrates his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford on January 01, 2021 in Manchester, England.

Image credit: Getty Images

PLAYER RATINGS

MANCHESTER UNITED: De Gea 9, Wan-Bissaka 6, Bailly 7, Maguire 7, Shaw 8, Fred 5, McTominay 5, Pogba 7, Fernandes 8, Rashford 6, Martial 7. Subs: Matic 5, James n/a, Tuanzebe n/a.
ASTON VILLA: Martinez 7, Cash 7, Konsa 5, Mings 5, Targett 7, Luiz 5, McGinn 8, Grealish 7, Traore 7, El Ghazi 5, Watkins 5. Subs: Ramsey n/a, Davis n/a.

KEY MOMENTS

26' - CHANCE! Pogba flashes a shot from just inside the box well wide after Mings had blocked Rashford's effort.
40' - GOAL FOR UNITED! Pogba wins the ball, Wan-Bissaka crosses it into Martial in the six yard box who heads it into the centre of the goal.
52' - TOP SAVE! De Gea tips a Watkins header over the bar after a nifty pass from Grealish.
57' - GOAL FOR VILLA! Quick free-kick taken, low ball in at the far post from Grealish for Traore to squeeze it in for the equaliser.
61' - UNITED SCORE A PENALTY! Fernandes scores the penalty after Pogba had been brought down in a tangle of legs with Luiz.
77' - WOODWORK! Fernandes picks up a loose ball on the edge of the area and swerves a shot which Martinez tips onto the bar.

KEY STAT

Bruno Fernandes has been directly involved in 100 league goals since the start of the 2017-18 season.
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